The effects of creatine supplementation on cramping and injury occurrence during college baseball training and competition
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Anecdotal reports suggest that creatine supplementation during intense training and competition may increase the incidence of muscle cramping and injury. This study examined the effects of creatine supplementation on cramping and injury during collegiate baseball training and competition. Thirty-nine Division I baseball players participated in this study. Twenty-one (54.0%) of the thirty-nine athletes ingested 15 to 25g/d of creatine for 5 days followed by 5 g/day of creatine that was mixed with sports drinks or water. Athletes who were non-creatine users had access to a carbohydrate drink that contained no creatine (placebo) during the training/competition period. Injuries treated by the athletic training staff were recorded and categorized as cramping, heat/dehydration, muscle tightness, muscle strains, non-contact injuries joint injuries, contact injuries, and illness. The number of practices missed due to injury and illness were also recorded. While no heat/dehydration events were reported by either group, results revealed that creatine-users had significantly fewer total injuries, ?2(1)=4.69, p=0.03 than non-creatine users (p<0.05). However, there were no significant differences between groups regarding cramping, ?2(1)=2.94, p=0.08, muscle tightness, ?2(1)=3.01, p=0.08, muscle strains, ?2(1)=2.92, p=0.08, non-contact joint injuries, ?2(1)=1.04, p=0.31, contact injuries, ?2(1)=0.009, p=.92, illness, ?2(1)=0.02, p=0.95, missed practices due to injury, ?2(1)=.103, p=0.74, and players lost for the season, ?2(1)=2.45, p=0.11. Based on the findings in this investigation, creatine supplementation during collegiate baseball training and competition does not appear to increase the incidence of injury or cramping. Additional research is warranted to evaluate the effect of creatine supplementation on athletes training in hot/humid climates.
author list (cited authors)
Greenwood, M., Kreider, R. B., Greenwood, L., Willoughby, D., & Byars, A.